Wake County residents will soon vote a little differently.
Because of a state law, the county has to buy new voting machines in time for the May 2 primary election.
Only one company is certified in North Carolina: Election Systems & Software Inc. of Omaha, Neb. But the county will be able to choose between two kinds of machines.
One is a traditional optical scan, where voters use pens on paper ballots. The other is a high-tech direct-record machine similar to an automated teller machine, where voters use a touch-screen.
Under federal law, the county is also required to have machines that are accessible to the disabled.
That means Wake County will have three choices:
* Model 100 optical scan ballots for most voters, plus one handicapped-accessible AutoMARK optical scan printer per precinct.
* Model 100 optical scan ballots for most voters, plus one handicapped-accessible iVotronic direct-record machine per precinct.
* iVotronic direct-record machines for all voters, with at least one modified to be handicapped accessible per precinct.
The machines will be on display today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the ground floor conference room of the Wake County office building at 337 S. Salisbury St. in downtown Raleigh.
The three-member board of elections is to make a decision at a meeting at noon Wednesday.